Gragas Build Guide by Fuggernought
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
17.06.2012: Havoc not that great, so changed masteries
04.08.2012: added second builds suggestion
04.09.2012: added "Recent Gragas Nerfs"
26-09.2012: replaced Will of the Ancients with Death Fire Grasp, as its more effective right now anyway
03.11.2012: changed items accordingly, edited some chapters
Recent Gragas Nerfs (Wall of text with me babbling again)
Gragas has seen a lot of shining tournament and ranked use lately, so people complain about him being too strong. So he got nerfed. I try to get a grasp on why they hit the Ultimate Cooldown and the Body Slam charge speed with nerfs in my following monologue and find out, if they are justified.
There are technically two major groups of mages.
The first more common group around right now are the sustain damage casters. These consists of consorts like Ahri, Karthus, Cassiopeia, Rumble, Swain etc. They have low - mid damage spells as their main damage sources, which are on low cooldown/spammable/damage over time in exchange and therefor making them a more reliable damage source throughout the entire game. Missing one or two spells is not as punishing as they are on low cooldown anyways.
And there are the burst damage casters. These consist of champions like Annie, Leblanc, Veigar, Brand etc. They have relatively high damage spells and spell combinations, putting a lot of damage out in a very short period of time. The exchange often is high cooldowns on these spells to balance them out. So if you miss the spells or use them in a wrong fashion and fail to kill the enemy in one combo, you find yourself waiting for your spells to refresh and therefore doing nothing.
So either you have high damage high cooldown or low/mid damage low/mid cooldown. Both bad or Good in certain circumstances.
Gragas as one of the only viable burst casters right now for specific reasons:
The more often seen mages right now are the sustain damage mages. In lane they can chip away at the lane opponents health easily and force them out of the lane, therefor ruining their game easily. If the burst damage caster misses his spells like Pillar of Flame (which is easily dodged) for example, he cannot retaliate and therefor is at an disatvantage. Often the casters mid also use their spells to clear the minions in order to farm. When the burst mage does that, it makes him vulnerable to free harras by the enemy. The sustain damage caster can farm with his spells AND harras the enemy much more easily.
Gragas, on the other hand, is not only a great burst mage with good AP sclaning abilities, he also has built in lane sustain to survive the poke/harras in form of his passive and Drunken Rage, putting him in an advantage over other burst casters, who are not so lucky. He also is naturally tanky because he is melee, therefor having better base stats like a bigger HP pool or more and better armor scaling. With the Drunken Rage active bonus, he also gets free damage mitigation on lane AND wins every autoattack battle.
So Gragas gets free health regen, free mana regen, free defensive stats and has good wave clearing thanks to his Barrel Roll. Not to mention his free dash to escape ganks or his Crowd Control King ultimate rivaling Jana's Monsoon. Compared him to a burst mage like Brand and tell me who is superior in lane. Yeah, the obvious choice would be Gragas.
Also his ultimate lategame would be on such a low cooldown, if the fight lasts long enough and Gragas initiated with his Ultimate, he was most of the time able to use it again as a finisher at the end of a fight.
Gragas just has just too much lane utility for a burst mage. I say he was a little bit too strong, not necessarily OP though, but the recent nerfs I think did not hit the right spots.
His Ultimate Cooldown might be reasonable, but that's it. He is still super strong!
Introduction to the F.U.G.G
Welcome to my other guide you humbly stumbled across! It's pretty ****py yeah, but who gives a ****!
I am Fuggernought an this is my Guide to a good, strong and competetive AP Gragas and he seems to work all the time.
I don't know why and i honestly don't really care.
All i need to know is that it works. And all i want is my Gragas to be bigger, meaner and higher in the food chain. BTW, Shushei plays him almost the same way, just for you to know.
And i know there are other good Gragas guides out there, but i don't care, this is my guide and build that fits my playstyle the best.
So enjoy yourself with the wisdom i provide and have a happy time.
And of course this Guide is not done yet and i will update it with new content frequently.
Pros / Cons of AP Gragas
- Strong performance all game long, not dropping off hard lategame with new masteries, runes
- Strong early laning phase, easy farm, easy denie, easy kills
- tanky mid-late game caster
- good lane sustain because of Happy Hour and Drunken Rage
- built-in dash for escape, chase...
- Probably strongest Burst caster right now
- after killing someone being able to say a cool slang like "gettin killed by fattov" etc.
- uhm.......i can't think of any cons..... oh yeah, there is one: GRAGAS IS MELEE!, this is a huge con mid lane vs all the other casters, who are ranged and can harras you with their incredible 58 dmg(!!!) Autoattacks(but that only makes him look more manly, who wants a cowardly ranged caster ****er, when you can be a tanky badass pwner headbutting people around? Yeah, thought so...)
Being melee gives you a harder time lasthitting, but after the game has progressed enough, you can kill Minions With Barrel Roll
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
These runes are the most viable ones in my eyes for these reasons:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration:
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration:
FOR GLYPHS THERE ARE TWO I RECOMMEND:
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power:
FOR QUINTESSENCES THERE ARE TWO I RECOMMEND:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed:
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power:
The new Mastery changes benefit Gragas alot, for his greatest weakness was to drop off and not deal enough damage lategame.
Now that they buffed the offense tree in a way, that Casters benefit from it as much as the physicals carries, Gragas Damage potencial rose.
These Masteries are the only ones i would recommend, because going defense or utility makes you lack the OOMPH! you need. Also, the new "FINISH HIM OFF" Mastery called Executioner is just such a huge asset to your Arsenal in comparisson to the other high tier Masteries.
These are gonna be taken, and U KNOW Y!
Flash: To escape or close dat wide gap between you and dat mofo tryin to escape.
Ignite: To kill dat mofo actually escaping with low HP early game. U NO WANT DAT HAPPEN!
For some Reason, the AP carry mid always takes these two summonerspells in a combo. The reason is: THEY DON'T NEED THE OTHER ONES. As simple as that.
The AP carry is usually the backbone of the Team, standing in the "back", providing heavy multitarget damage, unlike the AP assassin, who focuses on taking down one single target in a quick combo. And Guys closing in on you are typically nuked by you and your team. But if you do happen to get targeted by their assassins or tanks for example, you just instant flash away from them.
Flash is the allround "save-my-***-button".
On the other hand, the AP carry lacks steady sustained damage early, unlike the AD carry. The AP carry does damage in small burtst, periodical and in short succession. BUT the time, where he does damage and the time where he doesnt is long enough for targets to get away. Adding a strong Damage over Time to the arsenal of the AP carry is the most logical step.
Ignite is the "get-my-***-some-moa-gold-button".
There may be other summoner spells fitting the playstyle of an AP carry like Gragas, but these two are just the all around most steady and most valuable.
Abilities of Gragas
Passive Health Regeneration
This awsome passive allows for lane endurance. You can stay in lane, get harrased and heal abit Health back with this skill. While the Health gained seems to be only abit early game, it actually is pretty much considering that it adds up. Late game it is not as usefull anymore, but it still scales very well.
Main damage source and farming tool
This Skillshot lets you farm and harras. Its Bread and Butter and landing it is key. Read your opponents movements to predict where he will be moving, so he can't dodge it. Spamming it may cause mana issues early game, but it can be negated by mana regeneration runes and a couple of Doran's Rings.
Gives you free damage reduction, AD and mana for free.
This spell restores abit of mana everytime you use it, thus granting you lane sustain. Because it hast no cost, use it everytime it is off cooldown. It also gives AD, so your Body Slam hits harder.
Fun fact: at early levels with one point in it you can actually outdamage cassiopeia's twin fang with just this and autoattacks. Your Autoattack Damage catches the enemy off guard easily, netting you first blood sometimes by simply autoattacking them. Does not work everytime.
Chase, Escape, Gapcloser, Finisher all in one!
It's an all around good spell, has high utility and high damage. Also a good combo would be Ult + Body Slam right into the target for surprise damage and surprise initiation. Beware, it hits the first target along the way and you stop at the target you hit.
Strong crowd control skill with heavy damage.
The legendary Gragas Ultimate. The Strongest displacer in the game, even better than Janna's Ultimate. It is a ranged AoE Nuke and moves the enemies hit away from the center of the circle, effectively pushing them away in different directions for massive confusion and disruption. You can reset a teamfight, push away pursuiers, catch enemies offguard etc. A skilled Gragas also initiates a fight easily with this like Blitzcrank does with his grab. This skill however can also heavily backfire if used at the wrong time, like letting enemies escape or pushing them through walls.
The core of any AP Carry:
These two items are really the only two core items Gragas needs to fullfill his role as the AP carry.
Rabadon's Deathcap should be the first thing you buy as Gragas, for it is the item that boosts his power the most. And because farming is pretty easy as Gragas, there shouldn't be a huge problem getting it.
Void Staff on the other Hand should be gotten as late as possible, in order to fully utilize the flat magic pen you bought. and Void Staff's full potential is only exploited, when the enemy targets start to get Magic Resistance items. And that time is called lategame. So buy Void Staff after you got other stuff.
The other good and viable items to fill the item slots are listed below:
Sorcerer's Shoes: Giving you the magic penetration you need to almost deal true damage to the targets. Almost gotten every game.
Mercury's Treads: Best option if the enemy caster got fed instead of yourself. Allows to survive their burst and escape CC thanks to Tenacity. Otherwise good option if you bought Void Staff to replace the Sorcerer's Shoes.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Good Option to replace your Sorcerer's Shoes with, if you bought Void Staff. Shorter Cooldowns equal more damage.
Boots of Mobility: The legendary Ganker boots. Good if you intend to roam the map often to kill your foes.
Athene's Unholy Grail: This item. It's strong. It is the bluebuff in form of an item. Because it builds out of a chalice, it is easy to get, as rushing Chalice of Harmoy is a good tactic on Gragas. You can spam your spells, get magic resistance to counter midlaners and through pushing and easy farming without mana worries, you can go roam alot. This item is a core on Gragas and should be gotten almost always! It is the replacement for DFG.
Will of the Ancients: The last metagame (double AP) focused around this item. The Spellvamp for you and your team is so enormous, it allows for easy sustained laning and more survivability in teamfights. I personally like this alot.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Huge AP boost, a nice chunk of armor and the super awsome passive, letting you evade spells, dmg etc. Good item to have.
Rod of Ages: While many Gragas players do get this item for its synergy with Drunken Rage, i'd rather build a Banshee's Veil out of my Catalyst. Its not a bad item, just personal preferrence.
Deathfire Grasp: It got nefed. To the ground. This item now only fullfills a niche role and is no longer a core to anyone. It scales bad and has no CDR, only raw DMG/no utility. And the active is not worth rushing it for. Get it lategame, when you have trouble with someone like Vladimir/HIGH HP dudes. Otherwise skip this one and buy something else.
Morello's Evil Tome: Good item in generall. Buy, if you get denied on blue buff and don't have the mana regeneration runes.
Lich Bane: Just a fun and trolly item, making your autoattack a nuke lategame. I get this if i really faceroll the enemy and don't care about survivability at all.
Banshee's Veil: The best thing to do, if the enemy caster is fed is to get this item. It increases your survivability by alot mainly because of the Spellshield, which can easily block a 500 damage spell mid - late game, and the Magic resistance. I get this item almost everygame, even if i am fed, as my fifth or sixth item, because i just love it on Gragas. The Spellshield also blocks physical spells, for those who didn' know and is always useful in anygame.
Frozen Heart: Massive CDR, massive Mana and massive armor? With an aura, that reduces enemy attack speed? Yes please! This item synergyzes well with Gragas, because Gragas already has an attack speed reducer in form of his Barrel Roll and because these debuffs stack multiplicatively, they cut the enemies DPS by alot. Also, CDR equals more spells = more damage, and that is always useful.
Guardian Angel: This item forces the enemies to focus someone else, because if you do die in a teamfight, which is already very rare, you simply resurrect. Get this, if you find yourself focused alot or because you are miles ahead. The added defenses of course is a big plus.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Massive HP Boost and a slow, to keep enemies at bay and away from you. Even if the slow is mediocre, a slow is a slow and slows. Good alternative to Rod of Ages. Even better, because compared to Rod of Ages, this thing gives you utility in form of a slow. And a slow is always better than Mana.
Rod of Ages: Obviously this is also a good defensive/offensive item for the massive health gain. The health lets you do some dangerous moves easier.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Obviously a good defensive option too, thanks to the active of the item and the added armor. You can initiate with Ultimate, Bodyslam in and when you are in trouble, just Zhonyas the **** out of it. Works superb!
Abyssal Mask: If you want Magic resistance, but don't want to sacrifice Ability Power, this is the item for you! This item makes the midlane extremely easy to farm on, but sacrifices snowball power if you rush it.
JUST GET A MIX OF THOSE ITEMS AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!
BTW NEVER FORGET SIGHT WARDS!!!
A note on magic penetration
Because Gragas has so good scalings on his damage abilities, getting a lot of Ability Power is better than getting a lot of Magic Penetration.
That is why the Sorcerer's Shoes, Abyssal Scepter and Haunting Guise Combo isn't as good on him compared to for example Leblanc, Ahri and Swain, who have decently low AP ratios on their spells.
Wombo-Combos / How to kill on the lane
Here are some cool combos that take abit of skill to master
- First Combo (on lane): Harras with your Barrel Roll until the enemy is half health. If you Have your Ultimate up and see an opening, cast Explosive Cask behind the Opponent, so that he flies at you and then instant Body Slam into him. If he is dead, continue farming. If he is not, then ignite and autoattack and he is dead. Watch out for moving enemies. If you mess up, you may shoot them at other directions rather than at you.
- Second Combo: The enemy is pushing your tower? Good. Are you low HP? No? Good. Wait till the enemy is casting a spell at you and if you get damaged, insta ult her into your direction. THe tower will start to hit him and combined with 2 of your spells, this is almost always a kill. If the enemy is damaged over time based and uses stuff like Tormented Soil or Noxious Blast, this is even easier because you can force tower aggro on your enemy by simply running into the damaging area and deliberately eating their damage.
- Third Combo (almost impossible, you need to be a Gragas master): The enemy is at around 1/3 HP and you missed Barrel Roll? You got Ultimate? Yes? Then cast your ultimate to fire the enemy TO YOUR BARREL and press Q. You will be sooo delighted, when you pull this one off. This is by far the hardest trick you can do.
I will add more and more content as time goes on. But right now i am sure i can release my guide on Gragas.
I hope you guys have fun pwning with Gragas, the Fatty, my way.
Well...just good luck out there.
Leave a Comment, vote and feel free to ask questions!